Baby boomers turn to green prefab homes for retirement living
Baby Boomers searching for comfortable, elegant retirement homes are turning to green prefab home designs.
For instance, the Mintzes, a Washington couple, purchased the first re-imagined iconic Glidehouse design from Blu Homes, a builder of green prefab designs. The home will be shipped and unfolded this spring in Vashon Island, Wash.
"The only way my wife and I could afford a new, beautiful, retirement-friendly home was with Blu's unique prefab approach," said Richard Mintz. "The ability to easily modify their designs to our own taste for free, have all the home construction managed by Blu at their own facility, and then have the house delivered to us at a fixed price – this all means we will get our dream house, and enjoy our retirement years without the risk and hassle of managing a long construction project. Also important to us, Blu's unique steel framing offers us the security we want, and the high ceilings and plentiful windows that fill our home with light from the natural world."
Blu estimates it is now selling 40 to 50 percent of its homes to baby boomers and retirees. The streamlined building process of Blu's homes attracts those who don't like the complicated, lengthy traditional building process, which often takes two years. Blu's average building cycle is closer to six to eight months, making the home building process less risky and stressful than traditional construction.
"With ADA-approved fittings and fixtures, a single-story design, and a fixed price, eco-friendly prefabs like the Glidehouse make sense for those planning for retirement, or looking for simple, beautiful living," said Blu Homes CEO Bill Haney. "At a time when homeowners are watching their monthly operating costs more carefully than ever and concern about energy use is mounting, the energy savings of our green buildings is another major draw."
Haney said that Blu Homes are approximately 50 to 70 percent more energy-efficient than the average traditional home.
Recently, Blu unfolded one of its Element homes in Pittsfield, Mass., for a single mother.
"I have been looking to build a light-filled, spacious, environmentally friendly home to be my last house," said Lisa Hawkins. "After building a number of my own homes, I knew exactly what I wanted. Blu offered me a design I love, on terms I can afford – and at my age, I was drawn to their simple and quick construction program at a predictable price."
With the Glidehouse, the Element is one of the most popular Blu designs among retirees – an affordable, bright, single-story home that can have up to three bedrooms. Like all of Blu's homes, the Element and the Glidehouse are fully built in Blu's own factory, folded and shipped inexpensively, and then quickly unfolded on a customer's site to reveal a beautiful finished space. This proprietary folding technology means these homes can be shipped anywhere across North America, another draw for many who are looking to relocate.
Dozens of these new homes for boomers and retirees are expected to be shipped from Blu Homes’ factory across the U.S. this year, according to the company.